2011年6月29日 星期三

Montreal launches campaign to fight bedbugs

The city of Montreal has launched a new campaign against bedbugs, coinciding with moving season when the bugs tend to spread more easily.

Thousands of people across Quebec move on July 1 because it is the official end date for rental leases.

This year, the city is urging people to take precautions to ensure they are not spreading pests when discarding old furniture or bedding.

City councillor Alain Tassé said infestations spread easily and that moving day can make things worse.

"Bedbugs could travel on people, bedbugs could travel in a moving truck. So it is recommended to be as careful as possible," he said.

The city suggests using a knife to slash old mattresses when throwing them out, so others don't take them from the curb. After that, the mattresses should be placed in large plastic bags provided by the city.

Pest control worker Pierre St. Louis said moving vans can cause pest problems too.

"A good prevention could be to pass the vacuum in the empty truck before you store your storage," he said. "It's going to really prevent... bed bugs."

On top of that, the city suggests placing bedding, furniture and clothing in plastic bags before putting them in a moving truck.

The Quebec Landlord Association said preventing the spread of bedbugs is something all tenants need to take responsibility for. Spokesperson Hans Brouillette said the insects can easily spread between apartments.

"You can clean the apartment and do all you can to exterminate all the bedbugs but the problem will come over again if tenants do not collaborate," he said.

If you suspect you have bedbugs in your apartment, the city says to contact your landlord immediately to arrange for a certified exterminator to come in.

Sealy sees double-digit gains domestically and globally

Bedding major Sealy Inc. said worldwide sales for the quarter ended May 29 were 10.6% above the same quarter last year, but the company swung to a net loss of $377,000.

The company said the red ink was due to losses from operations in Brazil and Europe that recently were sold.

Without those discontinued operations, Sealy would have recorded a profit of $750,000 or 1 cent per share for the quarter. That compares with earnings from continuing operations of $3.67 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The most recent quarter's net loss compares with net income of $849,000, or 2 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Worldwide sales for the quarter, the second quarter of Sealy's fiscal year, totaled $321.3 million. That's up from $290.5 million in last year's second fiscal quarter.

U.S. bedding sales for the quarter were up 10.6% to $253.4 million - a figure driven by the introduction of the Next Generation Posturepedic line. Sealy said the revamped flagship line had been delivered to a majority of its retail customers by the end of the quarter.

"We were pleased with our operational and financial performance in the second quarter, which allowed the company to deliver double digit sales growth over the prior year, as well as sequential growth in gross margin, income from operations and adjusted EBITDA," said Larry Rogers, president and CEO. "We accomplished these results even as we saw conditions for the industry become more challenging than expected."

In the U.S. the company said wholesale unit volume increased 12.2%, while the average unit selling price fell 1.2%. The decrease in the average unit selling price was driven by a heavy mix of floor samples of the new Posturepedic line, which were sold at a significant discount during the product rollout.

For the six months ended May 29, worldwide sales totaled $626.8 million, an increase of 4.1% from the first six months of the previous fiscal year.

Sealy recorded a net loss of $1.28 million, or 1 cent per share for the most recent six months. That compares with net income of $6.56 million, or 5 cents per share, for the same period in 2010.

Excluding the discontinued operations, the company had a six-month profit of $880,000, or 1 cent per share.

2011年6月26日 星期日

Developing new kinds of Disney hotels from Orlando to Hawaii

Mark Rucker, 49, is vice president of lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, overseeing projects such as Aulani, a stand-alone resort on Hawaii, and Disney's Art of Animation Resort, a family-suites hotel in Orlando. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.

CFB: I understand you just returned from Aulani. Is it ready to go?

It's going well and it's on schedule. It's actually looking fabulous. We were over there and had planned to go over for some pre-opening work. And that's working on arrival processes and front-desk check-in and sense of arrival and how the guests are going to be welcomed, housekeeping and all the recreation preparation. All the senior leaders are now on board, and most of the leaders are now on board over at Aulani, and it's really transitioning many years of work over to the leadership team that's going to be there on the ground, yet still continuing to be here to support them with the test phase and opening. I think you're aware opening is on August 29.

CFB: How do you make a Disney hotel stand out without a theme park?

Disney's very much about storytelling and service excellence, and what the WDI group has done here at Aulani will tell stories. I mean, everywhere you look in the aspects of this product — the artwork and murals and paintings to the general design to the architecture and even the cultural components of the experiences and the entertainment — everywhere the guests look, everywhere they turn, whether it's the lobby or the Waikolohe Valley, they are going to have stories told to them. And it's really cool because the stories are a lot about Hawaii. We did a lot of work with the people of Hawaii to make sure that the "destination reason" for going there was about sharing the history of Hawaii and the authenticity of Hawaii. Yet, still, there's going to be this Disney magic or Disney overlay to complement the authenticity of Hawaii when they visit. And that really is going to be distinctively different.

CFB: What will Art of Animation add to Disney World's hotel lineup?

We've talked a number of times in the past about our focus on specialty rooms. And Art of Animation, when you look at that, it's a couple of power alleys for us. Power-alley one is that Art of Animation is getting to the point where we're leveraging stories and the equity of our products. The second is this whole family-suite issue; the world has changed around us, and we're seeing a lot more multigenerational families traveling and celebrating together, whether it's reunions or special events or what have you. And we're seeing the fact that they're wanting to play together at Disney and but also stay together in our hotels. This family suites product creates, a little bit more, an intimate setting where they can stay together.

CFB: What else do specialty rooms encompass?

There is this whole themed and storybook room, which we're working on not just domestically but internationally. You asked about Art of Animation, and aspects of room configurations — family suites — fits into that. Family suites is a strategy of specialty rooms. In that specialty-room category, we're looking at bedding configuration, too, of preexisting rooms. And we've got a really neat bedding strategy that's going to be coming out with the release of upgrades for our moderate product, which is really going to drive some interest, we know, to those moderate rooms. And we've a talked a little bit about — not just the 14th floor [of Disney's Contemporary] and the health-and-wellness suites test and pilot that we've got coming up here this coming fall — but just other categories like that, where there's emerging trends or big trends in the industry.

Mrs. Brady gets the crabs from a one-night stand

An upcoming memoir reveals another stain on the perceived wholesomeness of the “Brady Bunch” clan.

77-year-old actress Florence Henderson, who for years in the 1960's and 70’s played the all-American mother, Carol Brady, tells all about an affair she had with a prominent politician that resulted in a bad case of the crabs.

I her book, "Life is Not a Stage", Henderson tells all about a one-night-stand she had decades ago with then New York City Mayor, John Lindsay.

According to a Saturday Reuters report, she recalls Lindsey making moves on her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in which she succumbed to the politician’s advances.

She says she went home afterwards to wake to ever-disgusting "little black things" crawling over her bed and body.

A doctor diagnosed Henderson with pubic lice. The gentleman that he was, Lindsey apologized for the infestation with flowers and an apology.

What exactly did Carol Brady catch in the heat of passion at the Beverly Hills Hotel?

The pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, is typically found on pubic hair, but can also be found in armpit hair, eyebrows or mustaches and beards. It is strictly a human infection; you cannot get them from animals.

They get the nickname “crabs” from its appearance in the adult or nymph stage. They have six legs with the two front ones having the resemblance of pincher claws.

Pubic lice are tan to grayish white in color.

You may also see the nit stage. These are the lice eggs. They are oval, yellow to white in color and attached to the hair shaft. You may need a magnifying glass to see the details of the louse or nit.

They don’t transmit any infectious disease; however there may be allergic reaction and redness from the lice saliva. Itching that crabs cause can make a person scratch and secondary bacterial infection is possible.

In young children pubic lice may also be a cause of blepharitis (irritation or infection of the eyelids).

In most cases, pubic lice are transmitted sexually from the pubic hair of one person to another. But lice can be contracted in other ways, too — from infested clothing, towels and bedding.

2011年6月22日 星期三

Technogel begins selling bedding co-branded with Dr. Scholl's

Technogel Sleeping, a European producer of sleep products, has entered the U.S. market with a line of gel-cushioned mattresses and pillows co-branded with the Dr. Scholl's name.

The U.S. arm of the company, Technogel US, is based here and is marketing the gel mattresses and pillows to a select group of U.S. retailers. The pillows are brought in from Italy, as are the gel components used in the mattresses, which are assembled in the U.S.

Technogel US is counting on the endorsement of Dr. Scholl's, well-known for its use of gel cushioning materials in footwear, to give the line a boost.

"In the United States, Technogel Sleeping products are exclusively endorsed by the makers of Dr. Scholl's, which has led to a collaboration of innovation, technology and heritage," said
Alvise Bertoncello, vice president of sales and marketing. "In fact, both companies share a common vision about providing innovation in comfort-related products."

Products sold in the U.S. include four pillows, the Classic, Deluxe, Anatomic and Contour models; two mattresses, the Estasi and Piacere models; and two travel products, a pillow and a collar.

A layer of Technogel up to one inch thick, designed to work with a variety of support materials, is the key feature of the products, company officials said.

Technogel, the namesake of the company, is a new type of plasticizer-free polyurethane gel with unique cushioning and support properties, originally developed for the medical industry. The surface of the Technogel material features little square "towers" that promote air circulation and provide a cooling sensation, the company said.

Technogel offers "a new way of enjoying rest," which led the company to use the "sleeping redefined" tagline.

Technogel US is the American branch of a German-Italian company, Technogel GmbH, which was established 13 years ago and is based in Berlingerode, Germany, and Pozzoleone, Italy.

Technogel Sleeping, the division focused on bedding products, was established in 2008. It has successfully marketed mattresses and pillows in Europe, Australia and Asia, officials said.

The pillows marketed in the U.S. retail from $150 to $210, while the mattresses retail from $2,899 to $4,899.

Company officials say the products are well positioned to appeal to consumers interested in health and wellness issues.

"The novel combination of product and brand characteristics define Technogel Sleeping's identity and position in a wellness-oriented market niche, based on high-end technology, outstanding quality and style," Bertoncello said.

During the summer no one

Shoppers in search of cool, light sheets for summer weather should head over to www.BlanketAmerica.com for the textile manufacturer's cotton sheet set bargains. Blanket America offers a number of high-thread-count sheets at significant bargains, with each item providing immediate aid to Americans in need through the website's BUY 1, GIVE 1 donation model. For every cotton sheet set, woven blanket, towel, or other textile purchased from Blanket America, the company will donate a blanket to charity to combat domestic poverty.

“During the summer no one is thinking about snuggling under layers of blankets, but most people still enjoy being wrapped in the comfort of sheets. That's why we've created high-thread-count sheets that keep you warm without making you sweat,” said Mesh Gelman, co-founder of Blanket America. “We also know that everyone has specific tastes when it comes to decorating. That's why we offer such a large selection of cotton sheet set colors and patterns.”

Designer cotton sheet sets can cost hundreds of dollars at major retailers, but shoppers can enjoy discount prices at Blanket America, with the majority of sheets on sale for under $50. Ideal for summer use, Blanket America's 300-thread-count cotton sateen sheets offer a softer, silkier feel than regular cotton and are available in a wide selection of solid colors, from mellow charcoal to summery chamois.

For shoppers looking for something a little punchier, Blanket America's 300-thread-count jungle themed sheets may be of service, available in puma, giraffe, and leopard prints for under $45. While the animal prints appeal to the teen and young adult crowd, Blanket America's 500-thread-count Cordelia embroidered cotton sheet set provides a more mature look, with classic detailing along the 4-inch hem in contrasting colors. Normally retailing for $150, the six-piece Cordelia set is on sale at Blanket America for just $49 with two free pillow cases thrown in.

A child company of Extreme Linen, a major textile manufacturer for Macy's, Target, Kohl's, and other prominent retailers, Blanket America is able to offer top-quality sheets, blankets and throws at low prices. Many of Blanket America's cotton sheet sets are also available in California king sizes, a hard-to-find fit that the online store features in a variety of colors and styles.

"From our colorful Patricia Field towels to our soft and cool cotton sheet sets, Blanket America has a number of hot summer bargains in store for consumers. We're happy to provide high-quality textiles to shoppers on a budget, while also harnessing the power of the U.S. economy to help individuals and organizations in need," Gelman said.

2011年6月19日 星期日

How business travellers feel right at home

BACKPACKERS and business executives may occupy opposite ends of the travel spectrum, but one thing they often share is a desire to feel less like a tourist and more like a local.

And among the best ways for a backpacker to gain a more authentic experience is “couchsurfi ng” – the practice of using social networks to connect with like-minded people and then crash for a few days in whatever relatively clean space they have available.

Now a collection of travel websites is helping sophisticated travellers forgo five-star hotels or boutique properties for some couchsurfing of their own. If your first instinct is to recoil at the idea of bedding down on the couch of a hairy political science student, relax. These sites offer attractive upmarket apartments and homes whose owners are out of town.

One of the most popular and fastest growing sites is the San Francisco-based Airbnb, which recently raised $US7.8 million in venture capital funding. The company, which receives 10 per cent of its revenue from Australia, offers properties in 8000 cities and 167 countries, with options ranging from modest apartments in the heart of New York to a fairytale castle in Umbria – and pretty much everything in between (including boats, lighthouses and even an igloo).

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Since Airbnb arrived in late 2008 plenty of rivals – offering essentially the same model – have emerged. They include housetrip, with more than 100,000 properties in Europe, and, more recently, 9flats and My Friends Hotel.

But last year British start-up Onefinestay took the idea to a new level by introducing an innovative model designed specifi cally for business travellers. Rather than just holiday rentals, the company combines top-quality homes (average value of about £1 million) with the services that guests would expect from a four- or five-star hotel. Chief executive Greg Marsh says these “unhotels” offer the best elements of hotel service in the setting of a “carefully curated home”.

“What that means in practice is that we take great care to clean the place before each guest stay, deck it out with five-star linens and toiletries, greet guests on arrival and provide useful tools, such as a free iPhone to ensure we’re accessible 24/7.”

The properties have complimentary WiFi and the company puts barcodes on selected items – such as artworks and television set-top boxes – so guests can use an app on the iPhone to view short videos in which the owner explains an item or how it works.

Cultural differences mean some household gadgets have required more explanation that initially expected. “Americans can’t use kettles,” Marsh notes. “It’s because they’re much less common in the US. We had a case recently when a family put an electric kettle on a gas hob ... with predictable results.”

Onefinestay has proved particularly popular with business travellers from the US and Australia (the company’s secondlargest source market), who often stay in London for longer periods of time. “We have also had business travellers who arrive in groups or project teams and prefer to share a single living space, rather than having to crowd into the business lounge at a hotel or squeeze into a hotel room,” Marsh says.

Prices in the British capital range from £125 per night for a one-bedroom apartment in St James to £1145 per night for a five-bedroom house in South Kensington.

Marsh founded Onefinestay with two other entrepreneurs who had experience in the property management, logistics and technology fi elds. In March they raised $US3.7 million to fund expansion. Backers include some of the online travel industry’s most respected players, including Lastminute.com cofounder Brent Hoberman. The funds will be used to enlarge the company’s London operation, where it offers about 50 upscale properties. However, Marsh says he is “eagerly eyeing” other markets, including New York, Paris “and even Sydney”.

Onefinestay’s model is evolving. In response to guest demand, it recently started a partnership with food service Deliverance, which brings a choice of five different cuisines to the door. “When you place an order, it goes straight onto the fi nal bill. So it’s as simple as hotel room service, but more varied.”

He says the company is keen to launch a loyalty program. “And there are plenty of other services for guests we are keen to start experimenting with, from taxi services to a hotel-style concierge. We are in talks with a number of great London companies that provide those services at a world-class level.”

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Public service workers will have heard Treasury Minister Danny Alexander publicly outlining plans for their pensions.

Telling the world workers must pay more, work longer and get less, while in the middle of talks, shows utter contempt.

They are being battered on all fronts. A pay freeze, hundreds of thousands of jobs going and now an attack on the pensions they saved for.
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Charges of “feather-bedding” and “gold-plated” pensions are flung about like confetti, coupled with dodgy statistics to whip up hatred and envy. It’s a typical establishment trick to divide and rule. But the average pension for a woman in local government is just £60 a week, and in health, it’s £85. Not gold-plated, but a cushion against poverty in retirement. They pay between 5.5% and 7.5% of their salary for that benefit. The Government wants them to pay 50% more for 50% less.

But the extra money raised won’t go into the pension scheme. It will go to the Treasury to pay off the deficit – a pensions tax in other words.

The public doesn’t buy into the Government’s view. After all, most households are a mix of public and private sector workers. It would be better if they all had a decent pension, instead of this race to the bottom.

Why should public sector staff lie down and be trampled on? They didn’t cause the recession. They work hard to help people through it and the last thing my members want is action that hurts people they care for.

But what choice do they have?

There is still time for the Government to enter into honest negotiations but the clock’s ticking.

2011年6月14日 星期二

Carolina Mattress Guild grows with innovation

THOMASVILLE | Neal and Kathy Grigg started Carolina Mattress Guild with five employees in a 5,000-square-foot space 20 years ago in High Point.

Today the mattress maker employs about 85 people at its 68,000-square-foot headquarters on Interstate 85 Business Loop in Thomasville, with 65 of those individuals in production and the remainder in sales, administration or driving trucks. A second facility in Orlando, Fla., which opened in 2009, employs another 15 people. The local plant produces 85 models of mattresses while the Orlando facility makes 65.

With Neal's executive experience at Leggett & Platt, which makes bed springs, and Kathy's eye for design, the business quickly grew. The Griggs moved the operation to Thomasville in 1993 for more space and opened the current headquarters in December 2000. But within five weeks of opening their new facility, a spark from welding work in the production area set off a blaze that quickly engulfed the factory filled with fabric and foam.

“We saw firsthand what happens when foam burns — all the black, acrid smoke,” Kathy said, noting the facility was gutted due to the high amount of smoke and water damage. No one was injured.

For several months they leased some temporary production space in High Point, ran administrative operations out of some trailers parked in front of the headquarters and were back on their feet by the High Point Market in April 2001.

Kathy said the fire was hard on everyone, but she proudly noted it led the company to become the first manufacturer in the U.S. to make a flame-retardant mattress in 2003, which is now standard and required by law.

Chinese producers demonstrate their flair of home fashion at Intertextile

With a 10% increase in scale, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles 2011 will occupy 11 halls in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. The event held from 29 – 31 August 2011 is the largest up to date. Suppliers exhibiting across the international halls include country and regional pavilions from Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey, as well as new country pavilions from Greece, Italy and Spain. Exhibitors of bedding, curtain and upholstery fabrics will group into special product zones.

To tap into the Asian markets, Greek, Italian and Spanish pavilion exhibitors will stage their best and latest fabrics at the fairground. Exhibitor highlights will include:

Greek Pavilion
Coco-mat manufactures bedding, mattresses and home products made in natural or recycled materials including cotton, horsehair, seaweed, coco fibres and natural rubber. Its products serve both consumer and contract business.

K. Stamatopoulos S A is one of the largest wholesalers and has set up retail stores in the country. It produces decorative fabrics, upholsteries and curtains as well as a special woven vinyl flooring.

Vasilas Christos & Co Ltd is a leading curtain producer in Greece and the exclusive representative of DISNEY in Europe for rugs, wall to wall carpets, polyester mats and curtains since 2007.

Other leading manufacturers joining this zone include Anartisi Kiourktsoglou K & SIA E E, IFI S A, Sarlas S A and Zogometal S A

Italian Pavilion
Organised by The Chamber of Commerce in Caserta, this new pavilion will feature top suppliers of silk home products and furnishing fabrics from the region. They include S. & C. – Antica Lavorazione Orditi In Seta SRL, Tesseci SRL, S&B – Silk Beyond SRL, Fratelli Bologna E Marcaccio SRL and Gustavo De Negri & Zama SRL Manifattura Tessile. Other companies from Italy include Enzo degli Angiuoni and Luilor SpA. They will introduce high-end upholstery fabrics made from natural fibres, dobby and jacquard at the fair.

Spanish Pavilion
Comersan SA manufactures upholstery and decorative fabrics, home linens, contract products, micro fibres, light curtains and textile wall coverings.

Textiles Joyper SL supplies home decoration fabrics in a wide range of vibrant colours. The company will display its latest collection for the high-end Chinese consumer market.
Rafael Catala SA and Reig Marti SA offer high quality jacquard fabrics for furniture and home decoration products.

Other top suppliers in this pavilion include B&C Fabrics SL, Gonzalo Ferri SA and Textiles Frau Perez SL.

Well-established high-end bedding suppliers and brands also joined the fair to reach the growing luxury market in China. With over 100 years experience in producing bedding in Germany, Ibena will promote its new product line jointly with Cotton Council International. Standard Fiber from the United States will introduce the popular English brand, Peter Reed and new brand, Somerelle specifically for the Chinese market. Spring Global also from the US will represent the luxury brand, Court of Versailles at the fair. These companies will be showcased alongside other famous brands in hall W2.

2011年6月12日 星期日

Almanac June 12, 2011

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

In 2010, Daniel Nava hit the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer for a grand slam — only the second player to do it — leading the Boston Red Sox to a 10-2 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Today's birthdays

Former President George H.W. Bush is 87. Singer Vic Damone is 83. Actor-singer Jim Nabors is 81. Jazz musician Chick Corea is 70. Sportscaster Marv Albert is 70. Blues musician Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 34.

The sun sets 8:32 p.m. today, rises 5:29 a.m. Monday.

The moon sets 2:40 a.m. today, rises 6:34 p.m. Monday. It is four days after the first quarter.

100 years ago today

1911: New industry: "The A.S. Cameron Steam Pump Works, a well-established industry now located in New York City, has decided to move its plant to Phillipsburg on property adjoining the plant of he Ingersoll-Rand Drill Company, that is said to have a controlling interest in the pump works. It is given out that the A.S. Cameron Steam Pump Works, that sends its product to every part of the world, has a capital of $1,000,000 and will employ about 300 hands as soon as the plant is located in Phillipsburg."

50 years ago today

1961: Escapee is no dummy: A 31-year-old Bloomsbury man, an inmate at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, "employed an elaborate ruse" to make his escape. Guards at the prison discovered a stack of benches against the inside of a 14-foot prison wall. A rope made of twisted bedding was hanging down the outside of the wall. He had carefully constructed a dummy and left it in his bed. He had stuffed pajamas with bedding and wadded paper to simulate his body and placed a plaster head on the pillow. The head was complete with glued human hair, apparently collected at the prison barbershop. On the head was a pair of earphones used by prisoners when listening to the prison radio system. The escaped prisoner formerly lived in Phillipsburg, Blairstown and New Village. He was arrested in 1951 for stealing cattle. In 1956 he was arrested for selling a tractor on which a bank held title and for burglaries in Easton. The alarm issued following his escape described him as 'unarmed' and 'probably not dangerous.'"

25 years ago today

1986: One good turn: Larry Holmes' $4 million Riverside Development project was approved unanimously by Easton City Council. "But the proposal to build a five-story commercial office building and a five-story, 32-unit luxury apartment complex faced some jabs during the final round from citizens who would like to see the 3.2 acre tract along Larry Holmes Drive developed a bit differently. Former Easton Mayor Philip Mitman said he is pleased that Larry Holmes Enterprises Inc. has been named developer of the tract at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers but he'd like to see the office building turned slightly to the east so the front would face the river, giving a better view of the river from Ferry Street."

King of the Beds

What the underdog bed racers lacked in design and decoration, they made up for with pure speed.

And it was almost enough to put an end to reign of Royal Bedding. But a late sideways mishap gave Royal Bedding it’s third straight Bed Race championship Saturday in an action packed one-minute competition at Madison Days.

“We had the speed, but we lacked control,” said Cameron McNell.

Three teams rolled beds on wheels one block, turned around a barrier and then sped back to where they started from. Four people pushed the bed with one person riding on it. The winner received $100 and bragging rights.

The team of Casey Cookson-Zans, Jane Cookson-Scott, Amy Cookson-Koehler, Austin Klumpe and rider Dana Cookson won for the third straight year.

Cookson-Zans said her father, Dan, built their racing bed two years ago.

“He’s a welder so it was pretty easy for him to do it,” she said. “He just got some bicycle tires and put it together. It started out as a joke.”

2011年6月8日 星期三

Bedding warehouse closing

Tempur-Pedic is shutting down its London warehouse, cutting 20 jobs as it moves its shipping and storage business to Toronto.

The bedding business will have only a regional sales and administration office remaining here after the warehouses operation is outsourced and moved Sept. 1, cutting about 40 per cent of its workforce.

"They say they want to improve service levels but it is not about that at all, it is about cutting costs and saving money," said one company official, who declined to be identified.

Lexington Ky.-based Tempur-Pedic International bought Tempur Canada in April 2010.

"It is a typical situation where an American company comes in and uses their business model," the official added.

The company has stated the move will better service, but Tempur-Pedic has scored high in customer service surveys prior to this move, the official added.

"It is not about that, we were No. 1, but now we will not be responsible for shipping."

Steve Miller, manager of the London office, did not return calls.

However, in a recent release Rick Anderson, president of Tempur-Pedic North America, said the changes are the result of "an exhaustive study" of the company's distribution strategy.

"As a result of the study, we have determined that opening distribution facilities closer to our customers will improve service levels both now and in the future," he said in a statement.

"This will place our products closer to retail demand, hence improving customer service."

In the statement Tempur-Pedic said employees whose positions were eliminated were provided with exit packages in excess of the requirements of the Employment Standards Act.

The Canadian operation had sales of approximately $9 million in 2009 but is now part of the parent company's North America operating division.

The website it also reported recently Tempur-Pedic, reported 2008 sales fell 16.2 per cent to US$927.8 million from 2007's US$1.1 billion.

Net profits plummeted 97.4 per cent to US$1.1 million.

It also reported mattress unit sales declined 31% globally in the fourth quarter, with U.S. sales falling 39% and international sales declining 21%. Pillow unit sales in the year's final quarter fell 37%.

ISPA ups 2011 Bedding Growth Forecast to 7.5%

The mattress industry will see strong growth in the dollar value of bedding shipments this year while unit growth will be more modest. Bedding business next year won't be quite as robust.
     That's the latest mattress forecast from the International Sleep Products Assn., which issues bedding forecasts twice each year, in the spring and fall. The forecasts are prepared by ISPA's Forecast Panel, which includes leading mattress producers and component suppliers.
     The new forecast envisions the dollar value of bedding shipments rising by a healthy 7.5% this year, with units increasing by 4%. ISPA had earlier forecast a 5.7% dollar gain and a 3.5% unit gain for 2011.
     Next year, ISPA forecasts that bedding dollars will increase by 6%, with units increasing by 3.5%.
     If those forecasts materialize, the bedding comeback, which took hold in 2010, will extend to a three-year run.
     The industry wrapped up 2010 on a solid note, with the dollar value of bedding shipments jumping by 4.1% and bedding units rising 6.2%.
     ISPA's Forecast Panel begins its work by looking at economic models prepared by the University of Michigan. The panel members then factor in their own assessments of mattress conditions and sales outlooks. The panel believes that the growth trends established last year will continue, and that dollars and units will post "healthy increases for the balance of 2011 and 2012."
     The industry's average unit price for mattresses decreased 1.9% in 2010, but the panel is forecasting an AUP increase of 3.4% this year and 2.4% next year.
     Even with the unit and dollar gains forecasted through 2012, the industry has a way to go to regain lost ground, according to ISPA.
     "Notably, 2010 marked the end of three consecutive annual declines in unit shipments," ISPA said. "Moderate unit expansion is expected over the forecast horizon. The 2012 value of mattress shipments will be only slightly below the 2006 levels, but the units shipped in 2012 will remain below 1999 levels."
     ISPA believes the housing recovery will remain slow over the forecast horizon, as foreclosures and declining home prices remain an issue. "The housing market, however, has recovered from the lowest of lows, and 30-year conventional mortgage rates, which have a major influence on homes sales, are expected to remain low," ISPA said.
     In his "Another Perspective" column that is distributed along with the ISPA forecast, forecast panel member Jerry Epperson said he believes the 4% unit increase forecast for this year is "conservative," and added: "The 7.5% gain in dollars is more a reflection of mix changes than price increases, although price increases are evident especially in petroleum- related costs."
      Epperson also said that "it appears housing finally hit bottom in February. The dramatic decline in home prices is finally bringing buyers back into the market."

2011年6月6日 星期一

Bedding down nicely with Norton Rose

JOHANNESBURG – The managing director of Norton Rose South Africa, Rob Otty, says the firm hopes to further expand its operations into Africa. Currently Norton Rose Group is active in 39 offices on five continents. We have 39 offices across Europe, Asia Pacific, Canada, Africa and the Middle East. On June 1 2011 Deneys Reitz, and its pan-African division, Africa Legal  merged with Norton Rose Group making it one of the top 10 international legal practices by the number of its lawyers.

Otty, who was also the managing director of Deneys Reitz before the merger, said Deneys Reitz needed a global partner that it felt comfortable with in order to service clients in the rest of Africa and across the Globe. The global aspect meant that clients abroad, who were thinking of doing business in Africa, would have the expertise to draw on in this country and overseas. Otty says Norton Rose has the interests of Africa at heart and is completely committed to black economic empowerment, thus providing growth opportunities for black lawyers. The global executive board recently met specifically to discuss BEE and ways of providing education and development opportunities on a global level for Norton Rose South Africa’s lawyers, Otty said.

He says plans for the immediate future are to tie up the loose ends of the merger which had involved business teams working flat out for the last six months. The next would be to expand to other parts of Africa to augment teams already operating in, among others, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Morocco and Dar es Salaam. With the combined global expertise, Norton Rose is able to service clients in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa.  Otty says the new developments are not only exciting for the firm, but also for the country in creating employment in South Africa.

Bedding choices impact fly control

There are two kinds of flies that harm dairy cattle, annoy farmers, and reduce profitability. Blood feeding stable flies slow calf growth while non-biting house flies spread pathogenic bacteria. Both flies develop as maggots in moist organic debris and are readily found in calf bedding. Two research studies conducted by the University of Minnesota looked to see which source of bedding was a better choice for fly control.

The objective of both studies was to determine if bedding source affects production of filth flies and abundance of beneficial fly killing wasps in bedded-pack pens. Nine pens (seven heifers per pen) were first cleaned and then bedded with straw, pine shavings or hardwood sawdust for 12 weeks. Additional bedding was added as needed to maintain a dry pack surface. This was consistent for both studies.

Bedding use averaged 317 pounds straw, 268 pounds shavings and 291 pounds sawdust per pen per week. When the second study was conducted in 2010 the amount of bedding varied slightly, but the trend was the same.

In both studies heifer growth and cleanliness were not affected by bedding source and heifers gained an average of 2 pounds per day. Bedding pack temperatures did not vary among bedding sources. “When we conducted the second study the bedding pack temperatures were not significant, however, the straw was warmer in both of the study years,” notes Jessica Starcevich, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Pack depths were different with straw being deepest (10 inches), shavings intermediate (9 inches) and sawdust being shallowest (8 inches); this was consistent for both studies.

Samples from the bedding packs indicated pens bedded with pine shavings and hardwood sawdust contained fewer developing house flies and stable flies than pens bedded with straw. "In the 2010 study pine shavings produced significant numbers of stable flies, however sawdust still produced the fewest,” notes Starcevich.

Surplus from straw would have been much greater were it not for naturally occurring beneficial fly-killing wasps, which were more active in straw. “This statement remains consistent for both years, although shavings produced a lot of stable flies in 2010, beneficial wasps were still more active in straw,” says Starcevich. Differences in fly abundance may have been due to porosity and compaction. If this is indeed the reason, then corn stalks are likely to be as bad, if not worse than straw.

“The take home message is that it is best to use sawdust whenever possible, but if it is more economically feasible to use straw, then fly production can be reduced by conserving or augmenting (adding more) natural beneficial wasps,” notes Starcevich.

Further research is needed to understand why straw produced more flies, why beneficial wasps were more active in straw, and whether dairy producers can depend on naturally occurring wasps being present at their calf production facilities.

2011年6月1日 星期三

Maas Says Mattress Retailers Really Sell Health, Happiness

The right amount of sleep will change your life, better sleep evangelist James Maas declared at Furniture/Today's Bedding Conference here.

     In a keynote address that received top marks from attendees, Maas launched the conference on a high note, outlining numerous benefits of a good night of sleep, and detailing the problems that plague those who don't get the necessary sleep. More than 300 attendees, record attendance for one of the newspaper's Bedding Conferences, listened closely to his talk.

     Maas is the co-author of "Sleep for Success! Everything you must know about sleep but are too tired to ask," and he took inspiration for his address from the subtitle of that book.
     He told his listeners, a group that included the industry's largest retailers, producers and suppliers, that they are doing much more than just selling rectangles. "You are not in the commodity business," he said.

     "You are in the business of promoting health and happiness, a much better tomorrow."
     But many consumers are challenged to enjoy that better tomorrow, he said, because they are moderately to severely sleep deprived. More than 70% of consumers aren't getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, he said. High school and college students, he said, are "walking zombies" because they sleep too little.

     Many adults fall asleep at work each week, Maas said. He showed pictures of world leaders fast asleep on the job. And he said sleepiness diminishes our concentration at work.
     Maas said that sleep "is a necessity, not a luxury," and maintains that it determines our waking success, moods, alertness, energy and thought processes. The best predictor of life span, he said, is the quality and quantity of our sleep.

     Sleep deprivation "makes you clumsy, stupid, unhealthy and it shortens your life," Maas said. Some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation: Getting drowsy after a heavy meal or during a boring meeting,
falling asleep quickly, using an alarm clock to wake up, and repeatedly hitting the snooze button.

     Most adults need between 7.5 and nine hours of sleep. The average person claims to get 7.1 hours of sleep each night, but studies show it is actually much less than that, Maas said.
     In contrast, he said, getting enough sleep helps people lose weight, clear their arteries, and boost their memory and learning processes.

     "When a customer comes in to your store," he said, "you are not selling a product, you are selling a chance for them to be healthy and mentally alert."

Sherrill wood bedding company awarded $20,000 grant

Noble Wood Shavings, on Route 5, has been awarded a $20,000 Oneida County Microenterprise Grant, County Executive Anthony Picente announced Wednesday.

The company will use the grant to hire three new employees as it begins operations at the Sherrill Manufacturing Complex. Noble Wood Shavings manufactures premium quality bedding shavings for the local and regional equine industry.

The grant is administered through Mohawk Valley EDGE and utilizes state Community Development Block Grant funding. MV EDGE is also providing the company a $38,500 loan, said Steve DiMeo, MV EDGE president.

Noble advertises its bedding product as “being high quality and super-absorbent soft-wood, free of pathogens, dust, lacquers, metal or other foreign materials commonly found in other types of bedding, especially by-product waste from sawmills.”